Do you spend your hard earned dollar on groceries to prepare home cooked family meals? Those family meals often include the family pet.
Unfortunately, many pets can become ill because they are not able to eat foods outside of their normal routine, so we got expert advice on what our four-legged friends should not eat at the picnic table.
According to the ASPCA, here are some of the popular foods that pose health risks to dogs and cats:
Onions, garlic, leeks and chives can be dangerous in large amounts. Picture this: you're grilling up some kebobs out back when a piece of grilled onion falls to the ground. Do you let Rover eat it? According to WebMD, you shouldn't. Onions and garlic in all forms can destroy your pet's red blood cells, leading to anemia. Symptoms include weakness, vomiting, little interest in food, dullness, and breathlessness. Cats are especially susceptible to the dangers posed by onions.
Grapes and raisins - Although they are one of the most refreshing of summer's fruits, grapes and raisins should be avoided when it comes to Fido. Although the specific toxin is unknown, grapes have been known to cause vomiting, lethargy, depression and eventually kidney failure, especially among older dogs and puppies. Some dogs can eat them their whole lives and be fine, but it can cause serious problems like kidney failure in others.
High fat foods pose a risk for pancreatitis in animals. Fatty foods such as butter, oils, meat drippings/grease, chocolate and meat scraps may cause pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) when ingested, especially by dogs. Certain breeds are more likely to develop pancreatitis than others.
Xylitol is a natural sweetener found in many sugar-free chewing gums or candies. It can become a large problem for dogs because it can make their blood sugar drop and cause liver failure.
Chocolate - The rule of thumb is that the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. The toxin in chocolate is called Theobromine, which is similar to caffeine " and there is more of this found in dark chocolate. Exposure to too much chocolate can cause an elevated heart rate and body temperature, and can cause seizures.
Macadamia nuts can be toxic to dogs in particular, and can cause neurological weakness.
Yeast will expand in dog's stomach, and many dogs will require surgery to remove the dough that forms.
Alcohol can cause a drop in blood sugar, which can cause major problems.
Salt - If pets get into table salt, it can be a big problem because it causes sodium toxicity. Even salt water can cause sodium toxicity, so be careful when bringing pets to the ocean beach.
According to the Pet Poison Helpline, there are other summer pet poisons you need to be aware of. Read more about them here.
The national poison control hotline is 1-800-222-1222.
Click here to view the Top 10 Pet Poisons for both dogs and cats.
Ever had worries about what type of pet food to feed your pet? Check out this site, called PetFoodRatings.net, that rates common pet food brands for cats and dogs. Tell us if you agree or disagree!
Do you let your animals eat scraps off the table? Have they ever gotten sick? Will you think twice about it after reading this article? Leave your thoughts below or join in the conversation on our Facebook page.